Thursday, September 13, 2007

Things We Forgot To Put In Our Backpack...

Each year, about a month prior to the start of school, every elementary school in the land puts out a school supply list. And Wal-Mart sets out a huge display in their front door of gazillions of copies of each and every school lists for Mommies and Daddies to get a list, and go get all the supplies on the school supply list. It’s a nightmare to say the least when parents are out in full force @ Wal-Mart in the back to school aisles.

Now when we get to the High School, the lists were gone but we were in routine enough to go ahead and get the necessities: paper, folders, notebooks, pens, pencils, Kleenex, gum, breath mints, chapstick, hand sanitizer, you get the picture.

But when we get to college, all rules are pretty much thrown out because you don’t have a clue what your professors are going to want until that 1st couple of days of classes. And by then you’ve already been hammered with 47 chapters to read in 14 different books; not to mention trying to learn where your classes are, trying to park, and of course buying your books. The 1st time I had to buy college books, I about had heart failure. How in the world could 5 books cost $800.00 I’ll never know!

What’s Missing?

Today, the average college student is so unprepared to face the new world. Whether it’s lack of parental support, maybe we didn’t get totally prepared in high school to face the new classes… maybe we were never really taught how to study in high school and the list goes on and on. We come to college not ready.

In 1997, the dropout rate for college freshman:
a.) in public universities = 28.6%
b.) in private universities = 25.9%
c.) overall = 26.7%

Today, overall, for all 4 classifications of students 500,000 students dropout of a 4 year college. And to make matters worse, nearly 1/3 of all Americans in their mid-20’s are college dropouts. Today, ¼ of all new freshman who started T.U. or @ the Berg, statistically will not be back next fall. Again, what’s missing?

But there is a greater failure rate among college students and especially freshman. It’s a spiritual dropout… A relational dropout! Students today are walking away from any relationship they ever had with Jesus at an alarming rate. Today, almost 9 out of every 10 students, when they graduated high school are done/finished with their part of the relationship with Jesus. 85% - 90% of all Americans – 18–25 are unchurched...that means 17.5 million people!

What happened?

It goes back to that backpack concept. We forgot a couple of things. When we graduated, or left for college, we forgot to pack a few critical items for survival.

For me, a flash drive is critical to my survival and possibly for some of you, something like a flash drive is critical also. Imagine everything that you ever worked on, all your pictures, MP3s, things that were very important to you. Imagine leaving that @ home, and forgetting to bring it, or worse what is you lost it? Or what if it were your laptop?

Students are forgetting to pack:
Their curfews – I’m in college, I can stay up as late as I want.
Their morals – many times, morals disappear on college campuses.
Their food – (Bible) “I won’t need my Bible @ college.
Their focus/their purpose.

Girls are consistently looking for their “MRS.” degree and guys are looking for another notch on their gun. Yep, I would say, something is missing!

Grab your Bible and go on over to 1 Peter 5, and read verses 5 through 11. In a way, this is a perfect road map to college, and for college.

This is Simon Peter opening up his heart to us, trying to help us NOT make some of the mistakes he did. Simon Peter...the author of this book...the guy who 'literally' forgot his backpack, much less forgot to pack it. This guy knows first hand what it’s like to be chewed up and devoured by satan. He knew all too well that satan is consistently on the prowl. And if Peter tells us that in order for us to be on alert...ever watchful of satan, then we have to clothe ourselves in hard is that? Then Simon said to 'cast all of our cares on Jesus'. Why? Because Jesus cares for us...and Simon Peter knew that. Then finally, he says to 'resist the devil'. How? By being 'steadfast in our faith...knowing that we are not alone.' We're all in this battle, and Peter knew it. And he's sharing from the depths of his heart to try and protect us from this beast called satan.

And the end result...go ahead and read verses 10 and 11. Now you know...that's Peter we're talking about. He knew. Peter, forgot to pack his backpack. And this is his 'school supply list' for us. But not only for school...but for life.
So this is Peter, Simon Peter himself telling us how to be guarded…how to survive…how to defend…defeat…avoid the attacks of the devil. Because he knew that Jesus perfected him, established him, strengthened him, and settled him. And Peter knew that Jesus would do the same for us.

How? He humbled himself, clothed himself with humility...he cast all of his cares on Jesus...he was sober…self controlled...he was vigilant…ever watchful...and he resisted satan being steadfast in his faith.

I don't know about you, but I think it’s about time we repacked our backpacks.